Where to stay in Zurich

The Hotel That Has It All: 25hours Hotel Langstrasse Zurich

I’ve stayed in some pretty cool and quirky hotels in all my travels, from the fabulously over the top Venetian in Las Vegas to a tiny vintage shepherd’s hut in the Kent countryside. But none have been quite as cool as the 25hours Hotel Langstrasse in Zurich where we had the opportunity to stay for a night during our trip to Switzerland.

From the second we walked through the door I knew I was going to love it here. Colourful trinkets filled the shelves in the reception area, the staff looked trendy as hell, and travel paraphernalia was dotted about everywhere with giant globes hanging over the entry way to travel related signs and quotes adorning the walls, which of course had me totally hooked and feeling like I belonged.

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Pilatus lucerne Switzerland

A Winter Wonderland Adventure to the Top of Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

I’m not going to lie, our trip up to Mount Pilatus, one of Lucerne’s most popular and highest mountain peaks, did not go quite as we had hoped. We only had two days in Lucerne and being able to see the very top of the snow-capped mountain from our hotel room at Hotel Continental Park had made us super excited, but of course we had to pick the day with the worst weather (cloudy, rainy, couldn’t see further than a few metres in front of you, etc.) which did not bode well for an adventure to the top of a mountain.

I’m fully aware that people do go up snowy mountains in the depths of winter to ski but we are not skiers and I don’t ever intend to be one thank you very much. I’m more likely to roll head first down the side of a mountain than I am to successfully ski down one so we did the wise thing and stuck to the mountain for the non-skiers.

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Where to stay in Lucerne

A Room with a Mountain View at Hotel Continental Park Lucerne

I was a little bit apprehensive about our journey to Switzerland. We’d been up since 3am and even though the flight from London to Zurich was a short one, we still had an hour’s train ride at the other end to get to Lucerne, the beautiful mountain and lakeside city that would be mine, my sister’s and Evie’s first stop on this trip. It turns out I didn’t need to worry at all as, even with a baby, the journey couldn’t have been any easier, and we were walking through the doors of our accommodation in Lucerne before it was even midday.

Just a few minutes walk from the train station and a few minutes more to Lucerne’s Old Town, Hotel Continental Park couldn’t be in a better location and our arrival couldn’t have been any friendlier as we were greeted with refreshing fruit tea while we checked in, which was much needed after our travels, and our room was ready nice and early for us.

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Prague Christmas markets with a baby

Getting Festive at Prague’s Christmas Markets

Christmas has always been my very favourite time of year. I love everything about the festive season from the cosy winter nights and possibility of snow to mince pies and mulled wine, but mostly just that happy magic feeling that’s always in the air this time of year. Christmas markets have this in abundance so some of the European markets have always been on my travel wish list as they look even more festive and are just a tad more traditional than the likes of Winter Wonderland – which spending one hour at costs pretty much the same as three nights in Prague. So we went with Prague

Being Evie’s first Christmas we had an actual valid reason to go this year. She adores the twinkling Christmas lights, her whole face lights up when she hears the singing of Christmas carols and I knew it would make our first Christmas with her even more magical. This trip wasn’t for me in the slightest. In fact I didn’t even want to go at all. It’s all totally for her. Yup.

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A Blissful Baby Friendly Holiday with Tots To Travel

Going away with a baby was always going to be more stressful and manic than when it was just the two of us and even though we’d already taken Evie to Paris when she was just nine weeks old, our trip to Mallorca would be her first flight, her first beach holiday and her first taste of the summer sun.

I’m not usually much of a worrier but it can be a bit daunting when you have to remember to pack different factor sun creams for all three of you, swimwear for every occasion (one to keep baby warm, another to keep baby protected from the sun and one to keep any leaks out), plus a pram, travel cot, car seat and the kitchen sink.

Enter Tots to Travel who seriously made our trip so much smoother and stress free, not only by sending us to a brilliant baby friendly destination (although it was still hard to pick where because they have so many dreamy ones to choose from) but also by providing anything we could possibly have needed when going away with a little one.

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Reasons to visit Mallorca

8 Reasons to Visit the Island of Mallorca

I will fully admit that I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to travel.  I hate touristy places, big resorts full of English people eating all inclusive food, and beach promenades lined with shops selling tacky souvenirs and giant pool floats.  This is what I imagined Mallorca would be like which is why it was never somewhere I had pictured myself going.
But now that Little Miss Ayla is in the world, while we’re still travelling as much as we used to pre-baby, our style of travelling has had to change a slight bit.  It’s now less about the challenging hikes and full on sightseeing itineraries and more about the I-have-a baby-to-look-after-every-day-at-home-so-on-holiday-I-just-want-to-chill-the-F-out!
So Mallorca it was!  I found us a gorgeous and secluded place to stay in one of the most rural and scenic parts of the island, far away from the touristy towns and the all inclusive resorts – which I will of course write about soon.  Magaluf aside (let’s just stay as far from that corner of the island as possible!) what surprised me the most was how stunning and traditional the majority of the island really is.  I guess I shouldn’t be so quick to judge a place so here are 8 reasons why you should visit beautiful Mallorca.

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Paris with a baby

Adventures in Paris With a Baby: Evie’s First Trip

Having had some serious travel withdrawals due to not being away since September, I was desperate for a break as soon as our little adventurer arrived. Plus I think it was well deserved after, ya know, pushing a tiny human out!

For our very first trip with our little adventurer we wanted somewhere that wasn’t too far away which was easy to get to, and so Paris seemed like the perfect choice. Despite it being so close to London we hadn’t been in 12 years and it’s somewhere I had been wanting to return to for such a long time. The bonus of taking the Eurostar over flying sealed the deal, so we took the plunge and booked our first trip for when Evie was just 9 weeks old.

So many people had told us this is the easiest time to travel with a baby, when they’re tiny and can’t walk around yet and don’t do much apart from eat and sleep, and they were totally right. But a lot of people had also said that Paris is not a good place to go with a baby and hopefully this post will prove that I don’t agree with these people at all! Paris is a great idea with a baby!

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Guide to Las Vegas

The Non-Gambler’s Guide to Las Vegas

If you read my previous post on 5 reasons to love fabulous Las Vegas you can probably tell just how much I loved the city.  There is so much to keep anyone entertained and I don’t just mean whiling away the hours gambling.  We did spend a bit of time in the casinos where I will admit that I had absolutely no clue what I was doing.  Playing a game of Snap is about as far as my card skills go!  After a while of watching others in a state of utter confusion, Mr Ayla eventually taught me how to play Blackjack and I actually found myself having some fun!  I was very happy with my $5 winnings thank you very much.

But I was surprised at how much there is to do in Las Vegas for the non-gamblers who, like me, want to spend more time seeing the city rather than being stuck inside a bright, smoky casino with no idea what time of day or night it is, and these were the things that made me and the city such fabulous but unexpected friends.

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Where to stay in the Big Sur

A Big Sur Escape at The Blue Dolphin Inn, Cambria

Although our American trip was almost a year ago now, we had such a brilliant time that I still have so much to write about even so long after.  I still haven’t written about all the amazing sights on our road trip through the Big Sur, I’ve not told you about everything there is to see in Vegas even if you don’t like gambling, and I’ve still not shared the details of our funky campervan adventures, so I thought it was about time the blog got back onto the USA.

One of my favourite parts of the adventure was our road trip along the stunning Big Sur coastline so I thought I’d start off by sharing one of the best places to stay along this part of the Pacific Coast Highway.

We had spent the previous night in Carmel-by-the-Sea, one of the prettiest little towns in California.  There is so much to see and do through the Big Sur, from national parks and magical waterfalls to famous bridges and sandy beaches, plus more viewpoints along the coastline than I can mention in one blog post, each with a more gorgeous view than the last.  We knew it was going to be a long day and wanted to take it slow so we would have time to fit everything in, so we decided to spend the next night in Cambria, a little beachfront town at the southern end of the Big Sur.  The Blue Dolphin Inn was right on the seafront broadwalk, just steps away from the sand of Moonstone Beach, and I loved the idea of going to sleep and waking up to the sound of the waves.

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Road trip to the Grand Canyon

Top Travel Moments of 2016 and Plans for 2017

By my standards, 2016 was not a busy year of travel.  Mr Ayla would say differently because his travel expectations are not quite as high as mine but when we only visit four different countries in one year, well, that’s just a little bit too quiet for my liking.  (I know I may sound completely greedy and unappreciative here but when your passion is travel, there is never enough of it that you can fit into one lifetime let alone one year!)

That’s not saying that I would change 2016 for anything though.  Falling pregnant in June may have scuppered some of the travel plans we had for the last six months of the year but I wouldn’t change anything about it for all the travel in the world and we still had some amazing adventures.

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